Friday, October 29, 2010

I Was Being Silly

Yesterday's post was a bit silly - with little depth - but fun - and I really do like Candy Corn - but

this morning -

moving to something with much more depth - much more -

Well - I recently read the book, Radical, by David Platt.  I recommend it.

The following is a summary of the book - I found it on the site  which I just "sited" for you or "linked" for you in the previous sentence - and now again:

What is Jesus Worth to You?

"Do you believe that Jesus is worth abandoning everything for?"

In Radical, David Platt invites you to encounter what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what you have heard. He challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. With passionate storytelling and convicting biblical analysis, Platt calls into question a host of comfortable notions that are common among Christ's followers today. Then he proposes a radical response: live the gospel in ways that are true, filled with promise, and ultimately world changing.
At the end of the book he leaves the reader with 5 challenges.  2 of which are:
1.  Read the Bible through in one year.
2.  Pray for the world consistently for 365 days.
I'll let you read the book to be challenged with the other 3.  I've said this because I have begun reading the bible through....again, having begun this project before....knowing I always bog down knee deep in Old Testament and distractions of daily life.  This time I researched, or googled, the chronological order of the books of the bible, choosing to read it chronologically - the order in which it was written.  I'm loving this method!  So guess what?
I'll give you the order, as far as I've read.  

Genesis 1-22
Genesis 23 - 50  
Psalm 90  

Okay - so Exodus was getting tedious, especially since I've read it ten zillion times and all the details and all the dialogue between Moses and God and all the disobedience of the Israelites - and Pharaoh always has the hardened heart - and those horrible plagues - but this time - well - let me tell you first, what helped so much.  YES!  click on that link and see the alphabet at the top? well, pick any location that is named in the bible, like Beersheba, click on the B and you can find Beersheba - and so forth and so on.  It helps.  So - this time I was able to get a visual of Moses running away after he murdered that Egyptian and his return to Egypt and then his leading the Israelites out of Egypt.  I could see it and see where they were moving.  (It helps that I really really like maps - I do - I love maps - so entertaining to me).  
Okay - go back - to Genesis - when I was in Genesis - and actually that's where I started using the Online Bible Atlas - because you remember that God told Abraham to go and leave his people and all of that - so I traced Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and the places they were and the altars they built - all those significant locations - fascinating - but in the last chapter when Jacob who has been named Israel by God - he's dying and is blessing his twelve sons - who would be the twelve tribes of Israel - Fascinating what he says about each of them and how they will be.  You know what he said about Simeon and Levi, together?  He said:
"Simeon and Levi are brothers - their swords are weapons of violence.  Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.  Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel."  I find this fascinating because Simeon and Levi were the two brothers who sought revenge when their sister, Dinah, was raped and abducted - practically stolen - in Genesis 34: 26 - but also, Moses was a Levite, and we all know how he took up that offense for the Hebrew who was being beaten by the Egyptian - so he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand to cover it up.  Wow.  and then following Moses through Exodus - and his 40 days and nights on the mountain with God and the laws being engraved into the stones - and most of the Israelites were worshipping the golden calf, led by Aaron, Moses' brother, and God saw it and was going to destroy them all - but Moses pleaded with God not to - yet - when Moses got to the foot of the Mountain and found all of that - his anger boiled.  and he threw down the stone tablets and they broke into pieces. 
Then he said to the people, "Whoever is for the Lord, come to me."  And all the LEVITES rallied to him.  And then the Levites went around with swords and killed about 3000 people.  Wow.   Then Moses said, "You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day." Exodus 32: 29
So - while uncontrollable anger is not good and Israel(Jacob) did not seem to mean it as a good thing that his two sons had such anger - still - fascinating - the grace of God - he chose a Levite to lead his people out of Egypt - and it was the Levites who became the priestly tribe.  Amazing.  
Even after Moses had them kill all those ungodly men and women with the sword - God was not done with how He would handle it.  in Exodus 32:35 "and the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made."
So - after all of that discipline and "house cleaning" the Lord addresses the situation and is still not done with His anger toward their severe disobedience - in chapter 33: 1-6 - and then they all move on and once again in 40 days and nights God gives Moses the Law again and tells them how to build the tabernacle and all that goes in it - the Ark of the Covenant - and its Atonement Cover - and all of the other furniture and articles - okay - so twice in Exodus we read the details of the crafting of all of this - 
So I returned once again to and found this site and once there click on articles and there is an itemized list of those things ordered by God and it gives the spiritual meaning and relates them to the New Testament and how Christ fulfilled all of this.  I mean - I have heard and read a lot of this before but it loses itself in my brain - and once again - I'm studying this - it's spine tingling - the connect between the Old Testament and Christ's fulfillment of the Law.  So - this time the remaining Israelites are obedient and construct this stuff exactly how God told them to - and the final verse in Exodus reads:

"So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels."

The next thing to read after Exodus - since I'm reading it chronologically - is Psalm 90.  That is powerful - having been through the 2nd half of Genesis and then all of Exodus and having to trod through Exodus to get it all in my head and heart - it is indeed powerful to read this Psalm which my bible says is "a prayer of Moses the man of God."  

that's when I just HAD to post about it - and share it all - my heart was full - so I can't imagine that anyone lasted through this whole post.  Still - I feel relieved having shared this.

1 comment:

LB said...

okay, so I am now going to find Radical on Amazon, and of course I am wanting to do exactly what you said about reading the bible in chronological order. I have started reading the bible through 5thousand times, and like you said, I get stuck in Exodus. Plus, I have read those same things over and over and over b/c I keep starting over again. I like your idea and all your suggestions.
Off the subject of the book, though, I am a vacuuming/dusting maniac. The rainbow is incredible, and I think I already have four people willing to sit through the demonstration.